"But if you don't hurry, the bigger me will die!"
Their Trunks shouted at the assembled adults, smacking his palms against the table surface as he brought himself up from the chair. After a heated discussion, the newly arrived members of their group consisting of Gohan's mother, little brother, Krillin, Piccolo momentarily fell into a shocked silence. The others already more involved in this apparent crisis quieted down at the possibility of this prediction coming true.
None more so than Gohan.
He honestly believed everything was alright when his old friend, Future Trunks, came to visit, and they spent the day hanging out a while ago. His excitement of having his old friend back after so long and him meeting Videl and Pan blinded him. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, and after hearing about this Goku Black, Zamasu, and everything they'd done, he felt foolish.
Gohan didn't question his old friends tired and shaken appearance. His occasional haunted stares at nothing or how on edge he seemed.
What possessed him to just ignore all the sign, he wondered when he could so vividly recall it now?
"Trunks,..." He lamely whispered.
"He's fighting them all on his own now," Bulma spoke up.
He noticed his father slump into the couch just a smidge more and Vegeta's whole body tense. The others reacted similarly to the kids gluing their eyes to the floor, Krillin chewing on the inside of his cheek. Only Piccolo was visibly the same. Someone who didn't know him well might think he didn't care at all about the whole affair.
But from the slight downward head tilt and a specific curl of his lip, Gohan could tell he was just as worried as the others. He knew him well enough to notice the slight differences.
Not well enough to notice he was hiding this from me, his familiar temper spiked for the second time this conversation. Something in his look or demeanor must have visibly changed judging by Bulma's and the others reactions. How they were very purposefully avoiding to look at him the same way Goten used to when he was keeping a secret.
Vegeta was too busy planning to notice his accusatory scowl sweep across the room, while Piccolo was very deliberately doing so before anyone else.
If this happened 15 years ago, he would have shouted at the others for keeping this from him and entered a long, ultimately pointless argument. But he wasn't that little boy prone to outbursts anymore. With a long, deliberate sigh he used to ease all Goten or Pan or mom related frustrations, his anger sidelined. His hurt feelings were the least important topic to discuss now.
"Not for long," He told them firmly. "We're going to the future, and this time we'll win."
Surprise was the first reaction he got, followed soon after by approving smirks from his father, Piccolo and especially Vegeta.
"Y-you mean you're going to fight too, big brother?"
"I have no choice, Goten, Trunks needs all the help he can get and I couldn't live with myself if I just stood on the sidelines doing nothing. Especially after everything I've heard."
"A sentiment I approve," Vegeta spoke as he crossed his arms. "But you're not exactly in peak form, even after your supposed training with Piccolo, your power falls short of your old peak."
That much was true. After Yamcha and his grandfather saved the world from Beerus, no more threats attacked Earth... directly, anyway. He infrequently spared Piccolo prior to that event and Pan's birth, just enough to stay in shape, but his little girl's arrival changed everything.
He had so many more responsibilities not just at home, but also at his job at the university. Despite his initial skepticism, it would work, Gohan's decision to study chi itself earned some interest from the university board.
For a long time, he considered writing an entire study on the subject. To inform the regular populace of Earth on chi and hopefully help expand their viewpoints on it.
That earned him an argument or two with Mister Satan who wanted the "tricks" to stay as such.
Ironically, studying chi and parenting didn't leave much time to train his own anymore. Only now did he feel the divide between his current strength and what it was just a few years ago.
Nevertheless, Trunks was in trouble, and Gohan wouldn't stay behind on the sidelines. Even if Trunks himself clearly wanted him to...
"That's where dad can help," He placed a hand on his father's shoulder. "You can take me to the Sacred World of the Kai's!"
"That ain't a bad idea Gohan!" His father exclaimed. "Old man Kaioshin'll get you in-fightin' shape again pronto!"
"Will it be enough though? Need I remind you Kakarot that we've far surpassed Gohan's peak abilities."
"Peaks change all the time Vegeta!" Goku countered. "When I was a kid an' drank some water to unlock all my power! Obviously, that wasn't true!"
Vegeta answered with his usual scowl before imperceptibly nodding. "Fair point, but I still say extra training will accomplish all the more for your abilities."
"Tell you what, if Elder Kai can unlock my potential again, I'll join you in the Room of Spirit and Time."
A familiar glint was Vegeta's eye after hearing that. A specific look which used to terrify Gohan back when they were enemies.
"Training with you, hm? That will be most interesting, I think."
"Not to rain on your meat head parade," Bulma cut in. "Zamasu's still a problem. How do you intend to stop him when he's invincible?"
"With the Mafuba," Piccolo answered, getting everyone's attention on himself. "With the technique, you can seal this Zamasu away regardless of his supposed immortality."
"Uhh, what's the Mafuba?" Trunks asked from behind Piccolo.
"A special sealing technique, invented by Master Mutaito, the Turtle Hermit's teacher from his youth. Long ago, in a simpler age of mankind, a destructive Demon King rose to threaten all humanity. Mutaito and his students rose up to fight him and the old Demon King was sealed by Mutaito using the Mafuuba, containing his wave of evil for many years," Piccolo smirked knowingly at Goku. "Until a certain someone rose up to finish him off."
"Do-doesn't that technique kill you if you use it?" Krillin stammered out, Piccolo shook his head before explaining.
"If you're weaker than the target, then yes, it may kill you. However, I get the impression Black is the real problem in terms of power. Zamasu seems to compensate by syncing with Black and his immortality."
"That's more or less it," His father confirmed with a nod. "Once he's out of the way, the four of us can take down Black no problem!"
"If I don't settle the score first," Vegeta sharply rose from his chair, making it scrape painfully against the marble floor. "I'm heading to the Room of Spirit and Time to train. The rest of you make the other arrangements," He glanced at Bulma on the way out. "When can we head back to the future?"
"12 hours, give or take."
"Can't you just time travel back to the point when you left?" Goten asked from his mother's side, opposite his father. "You can train as long as you need then go when you're definitely ready."
"I wish we could, Goten," Bulma shook her head sadly. "But if we did that, we'd simply split the timeline again, creating a separate version of the future. Meaning we'd save one Trunks and doom the other."
"Precisely, so stop wasting time and go already!" Vegeta shouted before dashing out of the room, shaking the whole building from the blast of his impact as he headed off towards the Lookout.
"Vegeta's got the right idea," Goku leaped off the couch and gave his son a firm pat on the back. "Faster we start, the more progress we'll make, right?"
"My thoughts exactly," Piccolo nodded in approval. "Make haste with dropping off Gohan with the Elder Kaioshin. Then return here so I can begin your training with the Mafuba."
"You want to teach it to me?" His father asked in genuine surprise.
"Why not? After all, I did devise a perfect counter for it all those years ago and I'm certainly much less rusty then the Turtle Hermit is."
"He does have a point dad," Gohan voiced his support for his old master, despite a lingering feeling of frustration with him somewhere in the back of his mind for choosing to keep this incident a secret. "If anyone can you give a good crash course, it's Piccolo."
"I guess you're right," His father rubbed his head thoughtfully. "It has been a while since the two of us got a chance to train, after all, it could be fun!"
"We'll see how you feel about it when we start," Piccolo smiled knowingly at his dad, another look Gohan recognized very well from childhood. Specifically, whenever Piccolo had some new trick or trap in his training he was eager to spring on him.
That's when he remembered something that completely slipped his mind. Turning to his brother and mother, Gohan asked them. "Could you tell Videl I'll probably miss dinner tonight? I know it's all extremely sudden but I can't afford to lose more time, now with a 12-hour deadline."
"Sure, thing!" Goten exclaimed enthusiastically. "Just promise to smash that Black guy's face for killing me, alright?"
"My thoughts exactly!" His mother exclaimed and it took everything Gohan had not to suffer a heart attack. Clearly, she picked up on the blank look he and his father were giving her. "What? That bastard, hurt my family and killed my baby! Don't you two dare let him get away with it a second more than he already has! Am I understood?!"
"Y-yes, ma'am!" The two oldest males of the Son family said in unison, still taken aback by Chi-Chi giving her approval. Gohan imagined Videl saying the same to him, probably just as fiercely. He couldn't help but chuckle awkwardly at the mental image of that.
Then it struck him, having even his mom's support felt incredible. It always weighed on him, knowing how much she worried whenever he fought. Knowing this wouldn't weigh him down for once felt liberating.
"Ready to go?" His father asked, placing his fingers on his forehead for teleportation.
I never expected to do a sequel to this but a couple of ideas came to mind for how to do it so I said screw it! Let's make it happen!
For those of you questioning the sequence of events, Yamcha & Ox-King Save the World ended with their dish appetizing Beerus and leaving the Earth without fighting Goku. Later on, Goku and Vegeta managed to coax a visiting Whis to train them and so they do, attaining Super Saiyan Blue without God! Since Beerus' blast killed Sorbet and Shisami, Resurrection F never happened while the U6 Tournament and the Black arc, up until this chapter which is in episode 62 of Super, stayed roughly the same.
I expect this to stay roughly the same length as the previous story so expect 3-5 chapters at absolute most.